Visual Arts

Arty Girl: Two Botanical Art Exhibitions Come to Phoenix

Do you like the pretty flowers? So do I. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Now, I don't want to beat a dead horse. But I'm just going to mention (again) that the Best of Phoenix Wonderland art opening is tonight. What's that? You'd like to know more, you say?

Then go right ahead and click here, here, here or here. Or here. Oh, and here. And then, just, riiiiiight here.

Feel informed now? Wonderful.

And, of course, it's First Friday tonight. You can read a detailed blog by Benjamin Leatherman about it right here.

Right. So what am I supposed to blog about then? Let's just get away from the whole downtown First Friday thing and talk more about that pretty flower picture.

The Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Art Museum have teamed up with the American Society of Botanical Artists to bring more than 60 works of botanical art to town.

That means lots and lots of pictures of pretty flowers.

Ok, so you may think this is boring or nerdy but I think it sounds amazing. I've always adored botanical art. I remember my Bumma used to have posters with botanical illustrations of the native flowers of southern California (or something like that) in the bedrooms throughout their house. I thought the subdued sense of color and the intricate detail of the plants was absolutely exquisite. Whenever I'd visit their rural, too-quiet home in the small farming town of Somis, CA, I would stare at her plant posters for hours.

Okay, it was probably more like a couple minutes but I was enthralled nonetheless.

That wonderful visual mix of science and art still exists. Starting tomorrow, there will be 40 pieces on display at the Phoenix Art Museum. This portion of the show features the work of 35 ASBA artists and showcases all mediums like watercolor, oil, ink and graphite. And there will be illustrations of the Mentzelia hualapaiensis, a recently discovered plant found in the Grand Canyon by Desert Botanical Garden botanist, Wendy Hodgson.

Then, starting October 15th, Desert Botanical Garden will host 26 additional paintings by 13 artists who have all received the prestigious Diane Bouchier Founders Award for Excellence in Botanical Art. It's the first time the work has been exhibited in one venue.

So, yes, it's scientific and nerdy. But at least it's pretty!

The Phoenix Art Museum botanical exhibition opens tomorrow, October 3rd at 1625 N. Central Avenue, 602-257-1222, and the Desert Botanical Garden exhibition opens October 15th at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, 480-941-1225,

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi